Message to Pergamum
Description of Jesus:
12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:
13 ‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
14 ‘But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. 15 ‘So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
Jesus tells them what to do:
16 ‘Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.
17 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’
A little background is in order here to understand this message. Balaam was an OT prophet who worshiped all the “gods”. Balak was the Moabite King who hired Balaam to “curse” the Israelite’s led by Moses when they came into the land. Balaam prayed to God to ask permission and that permission was denied so instead of cursing the Israelite’s, he seduced them into eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols.
So when Jesus says “…you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality,” Jesus was referring back to the time of Moses and warning them they there were those with them that were doing the same things.
Jesus says “So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.” The Nicolaitans were another sect that worshiped idols, ate the meat sacrificed to idols, and practiced sexual immorality.
So the church in Pergamum had some problems with letting people in who probably shouldn’t have been welcomed. Those people would destroy the church from the inside out with their false teachings and practices.
The reference to “where Satan’s throne is” is interesting but I’m not going to type it all out here. If you want to read further about this description http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/jamieson-fausset-brown/revelation/revelation-2.html
Suffice it to say, that people were martyred in Pergamum, and false gods were worshiped. It was a hugely pagan city where Satan ruled.
So, as a message to the church, Jesus praises them for staying faithful in the midst of persecution. But, they screwed up by allowing in some people that will, if left alone, destroy the church from within with false teachings, idol worship etc.
As a message to believers this is another wake up call.
Sometimes we don’t get to choose where we live.
Sometimes, we wind up “on the wrong side of the tracks”, surrounded by non-believers, surrounded by people who live by the flesh.
Sometimes, we are so inundated by sin everywhere we turn that it gets harder and harder to hold fast His name and stay faithful.
Sometimes, we feel cut off from our brethren, from our support, from anything remotely holy and we begin to feel dirtier and dirtier.
Sometimes, the stand we take against our environment falters and in a moment of weakness, we sin. Sometimes, we go along with the crowd for a time, just so we don’t feel alone.
Sometimes, we lose sight of the truth.
And when we realize what is happening, what we’ve done, we hold fast to His name and pray for His forgiveness. We turn away from the sin and once again turn to Him for comfort and peace.
Jesus says Repent. Turn away from the sin and turn to Him instead.
Are you living in an environment ruled by Satan?
Do you feel yourself tempted and seduced to sin at every turn?
Do you feel that you are being led astray by false teachings?
Find a sanctuary. Find a church. Find just 1 other believer who can stand with you on earth while you hold fast to Him who has the power to save you. If you are completely cut off face to face, pray without ceasing and if you can get online, send a message to a church, any church, for help.
May you find peace in the One who has the power to save you. Call on His name to help you stand.